Posts Tagged ‘keys


For a good time in Zurich…

It was some kind of holiday yesterday, though national or just city-wide I’m not sure. Also, no one seemed to be able to tell us what the holiday was about, outside of “some Christian thing.” Anyway, the upshot of all this being, the Texas Twister lost her key.


To put it into context: there is one key that works both the building door and the apartment door, and it’s basically uncopy-able. So we have the one key between us and yesterday she was doing the laundry in the basement dungeon. She took the key with her and came back upstairs and then said she was going to get some breakfast. I said I’d be along in a bit and she left. A few minutes later, having finished whatever it was I was working on, I started getting ready to leave. Then I thought, the keys. She must have them. However, I know enough never to assume such things when it comes to the Twister, so I took a quick look around the apartment, even checked some coat pockets. Nothing. Okay then…

I found her sitting outside at a nearby “cucina” (lit. “kitchen”, meaning restaurant), where she’s having a coffee and waiting on some mussels. Hi, I say. You have the key, right?

She looks in her big white bag, which she bought at the flea market last Saturday. No key. Still, I’m thinking, it’s probably in that bag somewhere—this kind of thing, where she can’t find something that she has on her, has happened before. We finish our coffee, go back to the apartment. Re-check the bag, both of us. No key. We decide to stake out the building, even though no one ever seems to come or go. She takes the first shift, and I go up the street for a glass of wine and some olives. I come back, she’s inside. (I have to call up to her second-floor suite from the cobblestone tourist bath outside, with people who are sitting at wooden tables outside the Migros Take Away watching, because, she told me when I first arrived, the doorbell doesn’t work. Last night she revealed this was a lie, that it does work, she just wants me to yell from down below like some kind of putz.) She’d rung all the bells and someone, “a little old Italian man,” had come down to let her in. “I should’ve asked him to let me into the [locked] laundry room.”


“I can’t find the keys anywhere in the apartment. I must’ve left them in the laundry room.”


She’s already called the Swiss company that takes care of the building. They’re sending someone over to unlock the laundry room. She has to do some work she says so she’s going to go up the street to the bar that has wireless. Can I wait here in case they come? Oh sure, I say. What a sucker.

Dude shows up, doesn’t know a lick of English. The door to the laundry room, by the way, is unlocked—not sure if he’s just unlocked it now or if it had been unlocked the whole time. Anyway, I start looking for the key ring down there, but it’s nowhere in sight. There’s a pile of bedsheets she’s piled in a chair in the corner. I go through the pile. Nothing. Then Swiss handyman dude, mustached, 50-ish, stocky, goes through them. No keys. I’m babbling, “I don’t know where they could be, she does this all the time, the stories I could tell you, hahaha,” and he’s not understanding a word.

We go back upstairs to the apartment.

Swiss dude calls his boss. Boss gets on the phone with me, asks me what happened. Never mind that my presence here goes more or less unexplained, and I already fee like we must be breaking some weird Swiss rule by my being here (this apartment is run like a transitional hotel, with maids sent once a week), but now I have to try to explain. See, she went down to do laundry, and then came back up, and then went out, and and and… He says he’s going to get the handyman to leave me the extra key, and asks me to speak to the handyman again.

They speak in Swiss. Handyman laughs. Yeah, haha, stupid North Americans have locked themselves out of the building, yeah, no, the girl’s not here, it’s just some guy, yeah, what a sucker. Hahahahahaha…. hands me the phone back, dude on the line wants again to know what happened. Establishes that they weren’t stolen (“So you had them last night? And this morning?”) then pleads with me to let him know as soon as we find them. I hand the phone back, dude gives me the key, leaves. Five minutes later, the Twister shows up.

“Did they come?”

“Yep.” I show her the extra key. “They weren’t in the laundry room.”

“They weren’t?”


She goes down to look in the laundry room herself, like there’s some secret nook or cranny she might have left it in. Comes back up, no key. “Where could it be?” she asks repeatedly, as though I’ve hidden it.

Finally I say the only thing I can think of, the one avenue we haven’t explored in depth, even though it was the first one that should have occurred because it seems so obvious but then, wouldn’t that be the first thing you’d think of, “Where else did I go?”

And so I say, “Well, did you go anywhere before the restaurant where we were at?”

“No,” she says. Pause. “Wait. There’s one other place I can look.” Leaves. Comes back five minutes later, waving the keys. Where were they, I asked, not really wanting to know the answer.

“The cafe.” What cafe? “The cafe I went to before the restaurant. I put my stuff down but then they said they were closed so I went to the other place. I guess I left my keys… ”

For a good time, visit the Texas Twister in Zurich!

April 2020

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